Oct 14, 2021
Kamala Harris Joins Family Care Town Hall Transcript
VP Kamala Harris joined a town hall event about family care provisions on October 14, 2021. Read the transcript of the meeting briefing here.
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Aijen Poo: (00:00)
Tammy Duckworth. Thank you both so much for joining us today and now I turn it over to you, Madam Vice President.
Kamala Harris: (00:09)
Thank you Aijen. It’s so good to see you and always to work with you over these years. And especially now, when there’s so much at stake in terms of our real ability to actually leap frog over where we’ve been and to really just take on these issues that we have known even before the pandemic represent the failures and the fissures and the fractures in our system. And I’m very excited about the potential that we have, the possibility with the collective hard work of all of the leaders here to really see this through and get it done. And I can’t stress enough that this issue of care and caregiving and the care economy and care work, it impacts everyone. Regardless of the composition of your household, regardless of your age regardless of your gender, regardless of your profession, it impacts everyone. And so let’s be clear everyone, whoever you are, should cares about this issue and should understand how it impacts our entire society and our country not to mention our world.
Kamala Harris: (01:19)
So thank you Senator Tammy Duckworth, thank you for your long standing leadership and for being a champion in the United States Congress for caregivers and thxre work that you continue to do to be a great fighter.
Kamala Harris: (01:34)
Well, it is wonderful to see everyone I see on the screen over there and gathered here are the incredible leaders who care for your parents, for your siblings, for your children, people who provide care for other people’s families. And caregivers do it all from helping with finances and medication to preparing meals and providing transportation. Caregiving is hard work. It’s hard work. It is work that requires emotional strength and can be emotionally taxing. It requires physical strength and it’s physically demanding, and it requires a certain spirit of giving, and you all give so much. Not to mention how much time it requires, because there’s so much about caregiving work that is not on a clock. You don’t punch in and punch out, it really is a function of the needs of the people you are caring for. And folks have to understand that when we talk about then, the issue of how we pay people, their value and understand the nature of the work and the value of their work.
Kamala Harris: (02:47)
And as a bottom line, I’ll just say this. In our nation today, it is essential work and our nation runs on care, and therefore, our nation must invest in care. For working people and working women in particular care is a prerequisite to be able to get to work. It’s a prerequisite. It’s not a given, sadly, but it is absolutely necessary. Yet, we know that care is too often, too expensive and too difficult to find, which is why we talk about affordability and accessibility. Take childcare for instance, the average family in America has to spend 13% of their income on childcare, 13%. And that is assuming they can even find high quality childcare in their area, childcare can cost more than healthcare. It can’t cost more than housing. And in many states it costs more than in-state college tuition.
Kamala Harris: (03:57)
So these are some of the issues. These are some of the problems, what’s the solution? Well, part of the solution is our Build Back Agenda, which will cut the cost of childcare by more than half for most families in our country. And it will also extend the Child Tax Credit, which as we know, will lift almost half of America’s children out of poverty. And it will expand paid leave, and it will improve options for seniors and people with disabilities so that they don’t need to leave their home or leave their community to get the care they need. And on that point, this is essentially about allowing people the dignity with which they deserve and want to live.
Kamala Harris: (04:46)
So the President and I are determined to get our agenda passed, and I’ll tell you the president and I share personal experiences of having done a lot of what is necessary to care for family members who were sick and in need of assistance and help, and it’s very personal to us. We understand what these professionals do every day, and we understand it in a way that, for us, not only personally, we feel very strong and deep sense of commitment to seeing this through, with some insight about what this issue really means to real people every day.
Kamala Harris: (05:23)
And so our agenda is about what we need to do to give people everywhere, a meaningful opportunity to both work and care for their families. For far too long investments in care have dropped to the bottom of the priority list. But I’m going to be blunt here, that is because most people who rely on care are women and most people who supply care are also women. So it is time to make care a top priority, it is time to honor the value of care for children, for seniors, and for people with disabilities. It is time to make corporations pay their fair share and pass our agenda. Because, care cannot wait.
Kamala Harris: (06:12)
So, as I said, this is personal for me on every level, both on how I benefited from it and what I know is required to give it. Every weekday, for example, when I was growing up and on many weekends, my mother went to work long hours in the lab. You see, my mother was a breast cancer researcher, and she had two goals in her life. To raise her two daughters and end breast cancer. And so she worked long day, she worked weekends. And when she did, my sister and I would walk two doors down to the home of Mrs. Regina Shelton. Mrs. Shelton ran a childcare center and she became a second mother to us.
Kamala Harris: (06:58)
For my mother, I remember this so well, when something good happened at her lab and in her work, my mother would bring flowers home to Mrs. Shelton. Because she understood that but for Ms. Shelton, she would not have been able to do the work that she did. She would not have been able to fulfill the ambitions she had for herself and for her daughters, everyone deserves that kind of support. And everyone deserves the kind of respect that I to this day and my mother had for Mrs. Shelton. That is the work ahead. So thank you again for being here and I look forward to our conversation and now I will turn it over to Senator Tammy Duckworth. Thank you.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (07:53)
Thank you Madam Vice President. It’s an honor to be here. Hello everyone. It’s also great to see Aijen Poo, hello, good to see you as well.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (08:04)
We’re here to discuss the importance of historic childcare, home health care and family leave investments in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Medicaid home and community based services are essential to assisting older Americans and people with disabilities and ensuring that this program has sufficient resources as important as it’s ever been in our nation’s history. Our nation is deep in a caregiving crisis for both patients and for care workers. Seniors, and people with disabilities who have already been disproportionately impacted by the deadly pandemic should not be forced to abandon their home services for groups settings, where there are far higher risks of illness and death. While group settings may be appropriate for some people, not everybody should be forced into a group setting because there is no other choice.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (08:56)
We must do our best to protect the dignity, health, and financial stability of all Americans. And beyond this, we must remember the other caregiving crisis, the lack of paid leave for our working families. Without guaranteed leave we’ve seen so many parents, especially women and parents of color forced to make impossible choices between caring for their loved ones and earning a paycheck. As a mom who works outside of the home. I know how difficult it can be to balance everything, making sure that I make it through our weekday morning routines hustling to get my six and three year old on the school bus on time. And while all the while trying to pack their lunch while they argue about what they want for lunch or not want for lunch. And tending to, and making sure that I get myself ready to go to work as well, to head to the Capitol, to vote and introduce a new piece of legislation for America.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (09:53)
And then there were the mornings earlier in the pandemic. When I spent part of every day homeschooling Abigail, my six- year-old, pouring over worksheets and try to come up with science-
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (10:03)
… poring over worksheets and try to come up with science experiments, and helping her. She was struggling with learning to read and write. Doing everything I could to make sure that she wouldn’t fall behind. I may be a trained assault helicopter pilot and a US Senator, but let me tell you, I am not a trained elementary school teacher. And I bow down to all teachers everywhere, because it was far harder than flying in a helicopter in combat. Let me just say that. But listen, through every moment of every stress or morning, I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. I have help. I have a husband. My mom moved in during the pandemic, so she was there to help take care of our children. She was always happy to lend a helping hand, and I have the ability to take paid leave if an emergency arises.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (10:51)
But for far too many parents, that is not a possibility. Even before the pandemic, nearly 80%, 80% of private sector workers did not have access to paid family leave through their jobs to care for a new child or for a loved one who falls ill. And just 8% of workers… Imagine that. In the mightiest country on the face of the earth, just 8% of our workers in the bottom 25% of the wage scale had access to paid family leave in 2020. Just 8%. New research shows that taking action on policies that help families address their care needs could add $2.4 trillion, that’s with a T, trillion dollars, to the United States gross domestic product by 2030. It grows our economy to make this investments. So it’s clear that paid leave is not only good for the working family, it’s good for our nation. And that’s why it’s critical that we work to pass the Biden Build Back Better agenda and make these historic movements in the care economy. And with that, I’m turning it back over, I believe, to Ai-jen.
Speaker 1: (12:01)
Thank you so much, Senator Duckworth. Our first question today is from Tori Snyder, a small business owner and single mother in Pittsburgh. Tori.
Tori Snyder: (12:14)
Good morning, Madam Vice President and Senator Duckworth. I’m Tori Snyder, and the founder of Self-Care Senorita, and an advocate for MomRising. I’m based in Pittsburgh as a single mom, with a toddler on the autism spectrum and a grandmother I help care for due to the after-effects of COVID-19. I think I’m the definition of a sandwiched generation. It has been hard for me, because during the pandemic, my son’s childcare program closed. And while it’s open now, it’s a huge cost to me, as it’s about [inaudible 00:12:42] of my take-home pay. This is huge [inaudible 00:12:45] as I try to care for my family and keep my small business afloat. I’m using the temporary expanded child tax credit to help pay my family’s bills. I’m curious. Is the expanded child tax credit going to continue after the end of the year? And are lawmakers finally going to make childcare affordable for families like mine?
Kamala Harris: (13:06)
Tori, first of all, thank you for being a part of this, and for your voice and the courage of your voice to tell your story, because your story represents the life of so many people in our country. And I will say this: The child tax credit, we feel very strongly that it should endure, that it should continue. We know that it works. And this is probably one of the things, I’ll speak for myself, that I’m most proud of that our administration has been able to accomplish, which is the thought that we will lift almost half of America’s children out of poverty. The generational impact of that is profound. And so we have to continue it, because we know it makes sense, which is… Just give parents that extra bit that allows you to take care of essential needs for your family. And that includes food, it includes rent, it includes the cost of childcare. So under the American Rescue Plan, we got it so that it’s $3,000 for a child over six, and $3,600 for children under the age of six. And it is the first time that the money will go to families on a monthly basis. That is one of the important things about what we were able to accomplish. And basically, because the bottom line is obvious, your bills are on a monthly basis. You can’t wait till the end of the year to pay the rent. And so that’s part of the design of what we’ve done with the child tax credit. And the bottom line is at the current state of affairs, is it’s too expensive and too hard to find childcare, and we need to make it easier.
Kamala Harris: (14:47)
And so there’s a supply and demand issue at play here as well, which is the more that we can actually give parents resources to pay for childcare… It is our intention also in working with Ai-jen and so many other leaders to also demand that our childcare providers are paid more, but it shouldn’t be more expensive for the parent to pay childcare workers their value. And so that, in essence, is what we’re fighting for. Let’s make it less expensive, let’s make it more accessible for working parents, and let’s pay people their value based on the work that they provide for a community and society. So it is our intention to keep fighting for it, also to lower the expense of childcare so that no family middle or low-income pays more than 7% of their income in childcare.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (15:40)
Well, I could not agree with Vice President Harris more. As a mom to two young girls, they’re three and six, I know how important childcare is. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity for all working parents. And making sure that every parent has access to quality, affordable childcare is not only good for the kids, it’s good for our nation’s economy, because it keeps women and men in their jobs. And I’m hopeful that we’re going to be able to get it done in the Senate. We are fighting as hard as we can with… American Rescue Plan was passed on a party line agenda, and if we have to do this with just Democrats voting for it as we did with the American Rescue Plan that brought you the child tax credit, then that’s the way we’re going to go. But we’re not going to stop fighting.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (16:23)
We hope that others join us, but if they don’t, we’re going to fight to make sure that we get this passed. It’s that critical. The child tax credit goes directly into the pockets of families for diapers, and formula, and school supplies, and food. We must extend these critical tax credits as we work to build back better, and to really implement the Biden-Harris agenda. So know that we in the Senate, especially Senate Democrats, are fighting as hard as we can, and if we have to pass it along party lines, then we will. But we’re not going to give up on our families. I do think that we are going to go to the next person, which should be Nicole Jorwic from Illinois. Hello, Nicole.
Kamala Harris: (17:16)
Nicole, unmute yourself, or wave. Let’s see you. Where are you? Where’s Nicole?
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (17:28)
Well, while we try to-
Kamala Harris: (17:29)
There’s Nicole, right there. There she is.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (17:31)
There you are.
Kamala Harris: (17:31)
Nicole Jorwic: (17:31)
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (17:31)
Nicole Jorwic: (17:34)
Hello, Madam Vice President, and thank you, Senator Duckworth. We are in Illinois, and I’m here as a professional, but also as a family caregiver. I’m Nicole Jorwic, senior director of public policy for The Arc, but I’m sitting here with my brother, Chris, who receives Medicaid home and community-based care, my mom, who coordinates that care, but also coordinates the care of her parents, which got more complex with my grandmother’s recent Parkinson’s diagnosis. So many families are families like ours, realizing often only when they need the services the most that Medicare doesn’t cover long-term services for aging family members, and that waiting lists are years long for them and for people with disabilities who need Medicaid home and community-based services. And even when families are lucky like ours to get pulled off of the list, getting and keeping direct support workers and home care workers is difficult because the pay is so low, much too low for the work that they do, especially because it is life-giving work. It is harrowing to fill in gaps in the system to keep family members safe at home and avoid financial ruin for family caregivers.
Nicole Jorwic: (18:40)
Sorry. The polling continues to be strong for the investments in home and community-based care for our seniors like my grandma, people with disabilities like Chris here, for family caregivers like my mom, and for the paid workforce. In Chris’ words, these services matter because it is a lifeline to people like me. We must make sure it is available to anybody who needs it, and we must support the workers who do the work. Our family is thrilled with President Biden’s plan to include these investments for access to home and community-based care, and for better pay for the workers in the Build Back Better agenda. My question is, what can people, members of the disability community like Chris and our family, expect to see from the administration through the Build Back Better agenda in this space? Thank you so much.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (19:27)
Thank you, Nicole. Thank you, Chris. Thank you, Mom, for being here today. I’m going to take first shot at this and then hand it over to the vice president. There is so much that we can do, Nicole. There’s so much we can do to better support people with disabilities, and I know this remains a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration. One way that we can do this is what you’ve already talked about, and something that I’ve been pushing for very hard is investing in home and community-based services, HCBS. Strengthening HCBS is a pillar of the president’s Build Back Better agenda, and that’s why I was proud to help secure $12 billion in-
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (20:03)
… and that’s why I was proud to help secure 12 billion in funding for HCBS in the American Rescue Plan, which Democrats passed. And that’s why I also led an effort in support for fulfilling President Biden and Vice President Harris’s request of $400 billion to expand and improve Medicaid HCBS funding in this budget package. We have an opportunity now to invest in HCBS through the Build Back Better Budget, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues to get it done. Madam vice president.
Kamala Harris: (20:32)
That’s great. So everybody probably knows that HCBS is the Medicaid home and community based services program. And at the heart of it, the point is, and this is why Build Back Better is going to put more resources into that, is that we should allow people with disabilities to fully participate in society. That should be the goal, our collective goal. And then a question becomes, well, how do you reach that goal? Well, part of it is families need support and literally financial support to do things like home upgrades, right? To have personal aids so that folks can receive the support they need. And it ranges on the scale of support and care, right? Sometimes it’s a little bit of one, sometimes it’s more of the other.
Kamala Harris: (21:27)
But families need help doing that. And it should be our collective interest in supporting that approach because it’s just simply the right thing to do. And so, again, I want to thank you all for your courage to tell your story. It’s great to see all three of you. I know you are a multi-generational family and there’s so much that is great about that. It is wonderful to have, but it does require a lot of work, especially for the generation that’s in the middle of those multi-generations. And so we appreciate all that you all are doing. And thank you. And we’re going to keep fighting for you. We got to build back better. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (22:06)
Thank vice president. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (22:12)
That’s right. We got to build back better. And I don’t know about all of you, but I’m feeling energized and inspired. Next up. We’re going to hear from [Nelia Calda 00:22:20], who is a home care worker in Scottsdale, Arizona and owns her own home care agency. Welcome, Nelia.
Nelia Calda: (22:30)
Hi, good morning. My name is Nelia Calda and I am from Scottsdale, Arizona. I am a home care worker and I have been working in this industry for over 25 years. It’s an honor to be here, and I hope that my story will inspire Congress to take bold action to make the investment in care that we need. My family started a home care agency and because I love home care work, I took over my family’s business. Caring for others is how I want to spend my days. I personally take care of four clients and it feels good knowing that I am making a difference in their lives by giving them the gift of care so that they can live independently at home.
Nelia Calda: (23:12)
But being a home care worker is not an easy job. We’re essential worker who provide care to [inaudible 00:23:19] quality pay, protections or the respect we deserve. In Arizona, where I [inaudible 00:23:25] every state, there is growing demand of home care because more people want to age at home yet [inaudible 00:23:33] the poor quality of this, with low wages, lack of training and benefits, there are [inaudible 00:23:42] we know that you’re both champions for good union home care jobs with living wages and expanded access to care for families and communities in need of services. My question is how will you make sure that home care jobs receive strong support and investment from the federal government?
Kamala Harris: (24:04)
Thank you. Nelia, well, first let me just give you a little background on my perspective. One, I spent a day with a home healthcare worker, a member of SEIU by the name of Wendy [Cogh 00:24:19] years ago. I spent the whole day with her. The work she did during those long hours of that day was extraordinary. Taking care of an elderly woman who required everything that everyone requires. So Wendy was responsible for, and did it in a loving way, for food preparation, for helping the person she was caring for to actually get to the table where she would need to eat, changing her clothes, cleaning the bed from time to time, assisting the elderly lady with the going to the bathroom, taking her on walks to uplift her spirit and talking about the beauty of the day and let’s look and see this and that. It was extraordinary work.
Kamala Harris: (25:16)
And then sometimes not knowing when the elderly woman would have fits where she needed support, she needed some emergency or unscheduled kind of assistance around her healthcare. Wendy Cogh did all this work in the course of one day. And I mentioned that to also highlight a point that you made about the training that is required to do this work. We’d all like to think we can do it. I took care of my mother when she, as it turned out, was dying from cancer. And I was fortunate enough to be in a job at the time where I could leave whenever I wanted. But that’s a rare situation that any working person can do that. But I do know from personal experience, again, you’re not on a schedule in terms of the work day. It’s whatever the person you’re caring for needs. And the skills that you have to do the work you do as a professional are extraordinary. And that is a function of training.
Kamala Harris: (26:21)
And it is also a special gift that you give another human being, who is often, in the case of professionals who do this work, you’re caring for people that are total strangers to you, and you treat them like family. So we feel very strongly that we should be doing a much better job. The average salary for a home healthcare worker is $11 and 50 cents an hour. For anybody, I’ll just help you with the math. Anybody who’s listening, that is $16,000 a year for some of the most noble of work that any one human being could do on behalf of another person. So part of the community based services program under Medicaid that we are also fighting for in Build Back Better would increase money to states to increase wages for our nation’s home healthcare workers. Again, understanding the training, the skill and the devotion with which you do your job. Thank you.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (27:25)
Wow. Madam vice president, you could not have said that any better. I agree. We need to invest in home care. In fact, earlier this year I helped Senator Casey introduce a Better Care and Better Jobs Act to carry forward the Biden, Harris bold vision to expand access to quality care, better pay, and better benefits for workers and create jobs for our economy. We have to do better to make sure that Americans with disabilities and older Americans have quality long term care, and that home care workers are paid fair wages and receive fair benefits. That’s the bottom line. That’s what we’re working for right now. And people deserve to age in their own homes, live in the situation that they want to live in. And when they receive care, they can have lives of dignity and some of them become more productive. Some of them then actually can able to hold down a job, whereas they wouldn’t have been before. So this makes sense. This is why we need to pass the Build Back Better Biden, Harris agenda. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (28:28)
I couldn’t agree more, Senator. So our final question today is from Stephanie Woody in Charleston, West Virginia, who’s juggling family caregiving and the demands of running a small. Welcome, Stephanie. Thanks for being with us.
Stephanie Woody: (28:44)
Thank you [inaudible 00:28:45]. And especially thank you to Madam vice president and Senator Duckworth. I’m Stephanie Woody. I live in Charleston, West Virginia. And this past April in the middle of a pandemic, my husband and I opened our restaurant, The Vandalia Company, here in Charleston. Shortly after we opened our youngest son had a mountain bike accident out of town and required emergency surgery. We are lucky enough to have a great community of small business owners in our neighborhood who were able to get the word out that we would be closed. Thankfully, it was just for a few days.
Stephanie Woody: (29:22)
But that experience really showed us that we have a great need for paid leave when the expected or the unexpected happens. So we are just one family, but my employees and all workers really need paid family and medical leave. Small businesses like mine, we can’t afford to provide that on our own. So we need the help from a federal program. After our experience, I wrote to Senator Manchin, explained what had happened, asked him about paid leave. And I was floored to answer the phone one day while I was cooking in our restaurant and hear his voice-
Stephanie Woody: (30:03)
One day while I was cooking in a restaurant and hear his voice. He told me he understood how important paid leave was to us and he was supportive of my concerns. He knows that no one worked harder than mountaineers. But also I hope that I made it clear to him that there’s some things that we can’t manage on our own. So small businesses, our employees, we need the support that is in Build Back Better, especially, right now during this pandemic. My question to you is what does the Build Back Better Agenda do to ensure that others don’t have to go without paid leave when they need it? And what can people like me do to help get this legislation across the finish line? Thank you.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (30:49)
Well, thank you, Stephanie. Every American, every American should have access to paid leave, and should never have to decide between getting a paycheck and caring for a sick family member or a child. When my first child was born, my husband was still in military service and he got 10 days off. That was it, 10 days, and he had to go back to work. We’ve worked hard to fix that within the federal government, but every American, every American deserves to have time off to go take care of a loved one. I remember after a long Senate work day, and I as I was getting an airplane to fly back home, my husband texted me as the airplane was pushing back and he said, “The baby’s okay. She fell, but we can’t stop the bleeding. Headed to the emergency room.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (31:33)
Oh my goodness, but I was able, she’s fine, she just cut her lip and I had to get some stitches, but I was fine to be able to take her to subsequent doctor’s appointment and take the time off from work in order to do that. I’m a very lucky person that I was able to do that and care for my child who had an accident. This issue’s really personal to me. I’m fortunate that I have help when I need it and I can take time off when I need to. But for far too many parents, they don’t have those options, and this is something that has become all too obvious during the pandemic, especially, for those essential workers.
Senator Tammy Duckworth: (32:09)
New research shows that taking actions on policies for care and equity could add 2.4 trillion, $2.4 trillion, that’s what a T, to our GDP by 2030. So it’s clear that paid leave is not only good for the working family, it’s good for our economy and that’s why it’s so critical for the Biden Harris Build Back Better Agenda. You ask what can you do? Call Joe Manchin again and tell him to support it.
Stephanie Woody: (32:37)
Kamala Harris: (32:38)
So here’s some statistics, which I think many of us know, 80% of private sector workers do not have paid leave, 80%. So this is a big issue, especially when, to the point that the Senator made and you’ve made Stephanie, that at some point in everyone’s life, you will need to take time off from work to handle an emergency, to care for a sick relative, to have some time after giving birth to another human being to actually rest and take care of that newborn child. Let’s talk about it in the context then of the fact that there is a big issue in our country, which is we are not taking care of workers who need time off to care for themselves or people in their families, and it’s just not right.
Kamala Harris: (33:48)
Again, Build Back Better is going to address that in many ways. If we pass Build Back Better in terms of your small business, and congratulations on starting a small business. We also want to make sure that small businesses can better compete for workers because we know that where you see paid family leave, it’s usually with the bigger companies who can afford it, but smaller businesses can’t. But we want our small businesses to be competitive, to do well. Our small businesses in the United States, the last numbers I saw almost half of the American workforce works for a small business or owns a small business.
Kamala Harris: (34:32)
Let’s even the playing field, right? Both for the sake of supporting hardworking people, supporting our small businesses, and supporting our families. And that really, at the heart of it, is part of the essence of what we are fighting for with the Build Back Better initiative. So thank you for telling your story. How’s your son doing?
Stephanie Woody: (34:56)
He is fantastic. No one heals like a 13-year-old. Already back on his bike.
Kamala Harris: (35:01)
Yeah, the teen years are-
Stephanie Woody: (35:02)
Kamala Harris: (35:04)
… they are just extraordinary in many ways. You haven’t got there yet, Tammy. I’m just telling you. But thank you for sharing your story. Right, exactly.
Stephanie Woody: (35:19)
Thank you so much.
Kamala Harris: (35:19)
Speaker 1: (35:26)
Thank you so much, Madam Vice President. Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, once said there are only four kinds of people, people who are caregivers or will be caregivers and people who need care or will need care. We’ve heard four different care stories today and we’ve seen how substantive government support could change our lives. These are all of our stories. And together, they tell a shared story about how urgent and important this support is to millions of us across the country. Care unites us all. As we’ve heard from Senator Duckworth and Vice President Harris, the Build Back Better Agenda will provide that support to Americans everywhere.
Speaker 1: (36:13)
It’s a once in a generation opportunity to lift up our families, to help us work, and to secure our future. It’s truly historic. So thank you so much to our engaged audience for joining us today, and thank you to Joan, to Tori, to Stephanie and Nicole and your whole family for sharing your experiences as care workers and as family caregivers and people who need this assistance. Thank you to all the caregivers out there watching for all that you do. I hope today was a reminder that you are not alone. Finally, thank you to Senator Duckworth and Vice President Harris for your leadership, for taking the time to hear these stories and share your own. For championing real solutions, finally, and for helping us understand how the Build Back Better Agenda can address some of the most pressing issues we face every single day.
Speaker 1: (37:14)
Each of us has a role to play in making sure that we have the care infrastructure we need to thrive. Call your Senators, call them today, tell them you support Build Back Better with investments in childcare, paid leave, and home care. Together, let’s make sure all Americans get the support we need because care can’t wait.
Kamala Harris: (37:45)
[Ishin 00:37:45], thank you so very much. Again, I want to thank everyone. All that you were doing really is extraordinary work. The Care Can’t Wait coalition, thank you to everyone for your activism, for your energy, for your optimism, for your fight. This is not going to be easy to get this done. If it were easy, it would’ve been done, but we know this is good stuff, this is important work, and it will benefit so many people who deserve to be seen and heard. I want to thank everyone for being a part of this and for the coalition.
Kamala Harris: (38:24)
Senator Tammy Duckworth, thank you. I’ve seen you in the Halls of Congress. I’ve seen how you fight and how your voice resonates and is truly a voice of leadership on this and so many other issues. So thank you for joining this and being such a big part of the you. Thank you. Thank you guys. Thank you everyone.